The last couple of years were a rough time for the social networking site MySpace. Once the most popular social networking site available on the Internet, users started to leave it in shiploads to join competing services like Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. While it still managed to keep a sizable amount of users and a top spot as one of the top 250 or so sites in the world, it never managed to catch up with its main competitor Facebook.
MySpace was sold in 2011 for $35 million US Dollars and rumors made the rounds that the new owners would relaunch the site with a new design and focus on what made the site popular in first place, music.
The new MySpace is finally here and open to existing and new users of the service. When you load the main MySpace website you are automatically taken to the new url to sign in with an existing MySpace account or create a new account either by signing in with Facbeook or Twitter, or by entering registration information manually.
You can start filling out profile information right away or skip that step to dive right into the new MySpace design. If you are new to MySpace try the tours page which highlights the new areas and features of the site.
- Discover - Discover new people, music, mixes and videos.
- Music Catalog - Offers artist biographies, songs, albums, videos and events.
- Create Mix - You can create mixes using songs, photos and videos.
- Radio - Seems to work similar to what Spotify and other Internet streaming services are offering. You can tune into a certain genre or use the search to create a new station.
A toolbar at the bottom acts as the main navigation and music player that is displayed on all pages. The focus on music is best highlighted here in the bar as you can also use it to discover artists or search for artists
The design uses as little menus as possible. The toolbar is the only menu that is always displayed, while other page elements are only displayed when they are needed.
Music comes in three different ways. You can play some music fully on MySpace, others only as 30 second snippets or not at all. I'm not sure if there are country restrictions in place that prevent you from listening to some of the music but would say that this is the case.
Is the relaunch enough to keep MySpace in the game and maybe even convince new and past users of the service to give it a try? The concentration on music could work provided that what's being offered works. I had issues playing the majority of radio stations which may be because of my location in the world or because not everything is available yet.
MySpace could become a serious competitor for Last.fm and other music streaming and database services, more than it will become one of a general purpose social networking site such as Facebook or Google Plus.